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10,000 Hours of Play or Practice?

At TPI Junior Performance Center, the10,000 hours or 10 year rule is a very hot topic. Many experts believe that it takes a minimum of that time of real-time practice for an athlete to reach elite levels. There are also many experts debate about this rule (4,000 – 6,000 hours were mentioned) due to the lack of agreement on the definition of PRACTICE. This article I would like to share my opinion about the different forms of PRACTICE - versus PLAY.


Practice was defined as a program specifically designed solely to improve current level of performance. Practice requires focus, determination and the will to succeed. Practice is important and also required for anybody who wants to succeed. In other words, it is like a day job, a pre-requisite and it is not at all fun. The only motivation to practice is to improve.


Play was defined by engaging in activities that gives maximum enjoyment. Through playing games and by that I mean outdoor activities, not digital games, kids are actually physically developing fundamental movement skills and at the same time to learn about competition, teamwork, building relationships, interacting with others, success and failure. All the above skills are important in golf and life and they are acquired by merely discovering for themselves without the need of coaching and practice.

So here is the question, is PLAY also a form of practice? My vote for it is YES!

But don’t get me wrong. Practice is as important. Golf techniques are still best learned through extensive repetition of proper form – PRACTICE. But practice can get boring and kids get bored easily. Try to turn practice into play and you may find surprising results.


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